Great privileges for teachers should be the top priority

Great privileges for teachers should be the top priority

The privileges for teachers should hopefully be provided under this new administration because teachers believe that their prior voices were insufficient to grant their requests. Teachers were denied those privileges in the Magna Carta for Teachers for a very long time by the government and the DepEd. Public school teachers are required to get the benefits from three portions of the privileges teachers have, including less workloads, wage increases, and health insurance for teachers.

Senator Win Gatchalian encouraged the new Marcos-Duterte administration to fully execute the “Magna Carta for Public School Teachers” (Republic Act No. 4670). Decongesting workload, improving incomes, and ensuring adequate health insurance are three proposals Gatchalian feels will have the greatest impact and should be prioritized for complete implementation. These privileges for teachers are very useful to help teachers overcome the crisis.

According to Gatchalian, the 19th Congress should make raising teacher compensation a top priority. He also suggested that the Department of Education (DepEd) implement the suggestion of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) to perform teacher workload studies. This aims to simplify public school teachers’ job tasks and allow them to devote more time to teaching. 

Gatchalian referenced a proposal from the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) that showed that for a fee of 400 per teacher, DepEd workers would be covered for up to 120,000 in health insurance. The cost of subsidizing these premiums would be merely $369.8 million.

“It should be a top priority for the incoming administration to fully execute the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers,” Gatchalian stated. “Its past time for the government to keep the promises it made to teachers almost six decades ago,” he continued. Gatchalian noted that the Department of Education violates three parts of the Magna Carta.

Public school teachers, for example, are entitled to free annual physical tests under Section 22. While DepEd has offered some monetary medical support since 2019, Gatchalian pointed out that there is currently no program for the annual check-up for teachers, as required by law.

Section 26: has also been disregarded. According to this, a retiring teacher should be elevated one rank higher, and the income from that level should be used to calculate retirement benefits.

This should be the first resolution by the Marcos-Duterte administration to minimize the crisis faced by so many teachers a long time ago until other teachers have already retired and died. They did not enjoy the retirement benefits that were intended for them upon retirement. So, teachers are asking Vice President Sara-Duterte to grant all those intended privileges for teachers so that they can also enjoy the fruits of their hard work.

Teachers require free health insurance since, in the event that they become ill and require hospitalization, their philhealth benefits are insufficient to cover the associated costs. Particularly in private hospitals, after members and dependents are admitted, just a limited portion of Philhealth is covered. The hospital bill is still so expensive that it’s still possible for teachers to pass away from the stress of it. Therefore, those privileges for teachers should give them the opportunity to live longer. The moment is opportune for the teachers to make use of those privileges for teachers if they are granted this year. – Doki Helpline PH